When it comes to dating there are certain rules and customs that most cultures hold dear, and simply just not knowing can cause a breakdown in communication. German dating customs are not so different from U.S. customs however, something as small as being 10 minutes late bringing home your date can result in there never being another date because of the value that Germans place on punctuality.
Most of the customs surrounding dating in Germany are a lot like those of the United States, with the exception that German couples that are dating are more likely to engage in group dates. Different types of bars and clubs are a common gathering place for people who are dating. Older German adults that date are likely to find dating partners through friends and acquaintances.
German men will always initiate a date with a woman. The man asks the woman out and is also expected to pay for the date. There are no set rules or customs for how the man will meet up with the woman for their date though. It is acceptable to meet at a specified location or for the male to pick up the woman at her home. If the man does pick the woman up at home he should bring her a bouquet of flowers and also one for her mother as well, if she lives at home.
German men have a tendency to date women that are much younger than they are. This is only for the fun of dating and socialising and not ever meant for long term or serious relationships. It is customary for the man to not plan to wed or have any sexual contact with this younger lady. On the contrary, many German men will also date women that are much older too. Germans have a tendency to marry later in life when compared with Americans. It is very common for Germans to marry well into their 30's after many years of dating.
When a lady lives at home, it is a very important part of German culture that the man has her home no later than when he promised her parents he would. Then, even for subsequent dates the man should initiate the date.
German dating culture sees being late as inexcusably rude. In Germany punctuality is almost considered to be a trademark. It is likely that the date would not take place if the man is late picking up or meeting the woman or late bringing her home.